Wednesday, December 07, 2005

NR1207:Retired Gen. Garcia's "punishment" does not fit the crime

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release December 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Retired Gen. Garcia’s ‘punishment’ does not fit the crime; Garcia’s testimony lacks revelations regarding whom he worked with and for to accumulate massive illegal wealth

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the punishment being meted out to retired general and army comptroller Carlos F. Garcia was farcical and an insult to the collective intelligence of the Filipino people who have been monitoring the developments in this case for the longest time.

Garcia was sentenced by court-martial last week to two years detention at hard labor for suspicious wealth and the possession of a “green card.” According the reports, Garcia’s punishment so far consists of his being denied the right to use his cellphone.

“Considering the gravity of Garcia’s crimes, the AFP and the rest of the judicial arms of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration are moving suspiciously much too low on his case. This leniency already consists of special treatment. All this bolsters strong allegations that Garcia is only a small cog in a massive machinery of corruption within the AFP and the rest of the military institution. Garcia at this point is still being treated with kid gloves because of the knowledge and critical information he possesses are seriously incriminating and damaging against higher officials in the military and perhaps even in Malacanang,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that the soft handling of Garcia was yet another proof of how lopsided the justice system is in the country. He said that Garcia has essentially admitted owning millions of dollars in unexplained wealth and the chances that this money was accumulated through corrupt and underhanded means. “But why isn’t the maximum punishment of the law against such a crime being laid down against him? Because he’s from the military and his possible conviction might lead him to squeal on his higher-ups who are also involved in corrupt schemes that bring them millions?”

“Ordinary citizens when they become involved in petty crimes such as small time theft - say the theft of cellphones or wallets- they are immediately arrested and sentenced. Garcia and whomever else he works with and for has so far been treated with utmost care and the charges against Garcia has been delayed for the longest time. What does this prove but the anti-poor bias of the justice system. Garcia has nor reason to complain. “

Finally, Beltran said that he Sandiganbayan should hasten deliberations on Garcia’s case and convict him on the crimes of perjury and plunder. He also said that Garcia should also be compelled to reveal who his partners in crime. “If Garcia, a mere army comptroller was able to amass millions of dollars in liquid and assets, what more higher officials in the military? Without doubt, Garcia was able to skim off illegal wealth by working with and for even more corrupt officials within the military and the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” he concluded.#


Post a Comment

<< Home